(1941-07-17) That's Some Hot Chocolate
Details for That's Some Hot Chocolate!
Summary: Josie shows off her favourite hot chocolate to some younger kids, but things get weird.
Date: July 17th, 1941
Location: Harkiss Candy
Plot: Zoanthropy Epidemic

With the students gone from Hogwarts, one would think that the candy shop would be all but deserted. (HA! Get it? Hehe.) But that one would be wrong! The students are out of Hogwarts, and all the children with any pocket money to their name can scamper down the street to the shop any time they like. Summer holidays bring such freedom.

A close-knit pack of 11 year-olds, four boys, push into the kaleidoscope of magical sweetness. It's a ragtag little group, looking like they just rolled down a hill and into the shop. They hold up the entrance, staring open-mouthed at the kaleidoscope forest of sugary delights.

Coming in from behind the group, Josie is forced to stop a step inside as the younger kids look around. She's dressed in overalls and a shirt, and as a general boyish look except for her hair. After waiting a moment, she comments, grinning, "You know, you can see better if you go inside."

One of the boys wheels around. Another peers over the heads of the others to get a look at Josie. A third boy, the one closest to her, grins. "Got to stop and take it all in. Sorry fer blockin though." He nudges the fourth boy with his shoulder. "C'mon, budge up. She wants to get in."

The first boy who'd turned so quickly to see Josie bounces on his toes off to one side. "What're you going to get? Bertie Botts?" The second boy breaks off from peering at Josie to froun at the first. "Don't be daft Mateen. Not works the risk of getting a toe-fungs flavored one!" The one called Mateen scrunches up his face. "Eeew, Jamie- Wait… what color would that be? Think we could trick Tricia into trying it?"

Josie nods with a grin, and says, "Thanks." She steps further inside, and says, "Fizzing Whizbees are my favourite, but if you're going to the malt counter, ask for their special hot chocolate. Trust me." The hot chocolate she refers to make the drinker make the sounds of random animals. Of course, she doesn't tell them that, just grinning. She reaches to take a licorice wand off the shelf.

The suggestion of a 'special' hot chocolate distracts Mateen from plotting to trick poor Tricia. Fixing on Josie at once, he says, "Ooh, cocoa? That sounds perfect!" But Jamie, the tallest, and possibly oldest, doesn't look so convinced. "Special? What's so special about it?" But the one who'd nudged his fellows all aside to let Josie in pokes him in the side. "C'mon, Jamie. Bet it'll be fun." He looks at Josie. "You'll try it with us, right?"

Josie grins to Jamie, and says, "Try and find out. Don't worry, they don't sell anything bad here." Then, to the other, she nods quickly again, "Sure. It's part of the reason I came today, anyway." She does pause to pick up a couple more things, before turning towards the malt counter as well.

"Brilliant!" says the boy in front. Following Josie to the counter, he adds, "Oh, I'm Pat, by the way. This here is Mateen, Jamie, and Christopher." The other boys follow close and pile up at the counter. Pat waves to catch the attention of the man in the apron behind the counter. "Oi! Four hot chocolates please." Jamie still frowns dubiously, but doesn't amend the order.

When the man glances her way, she adds, "Me too, please. My usual, for all of us." She grins back to the others, and says, "I'm Josie. Nice to meet you." She hops into a seat, as she says this.

"H'lo Josie," says Matteen. The ever suspicious Jamie actually offers her a bit of a smile. Pat smiles and nods. "Nice to meet you." And the quiet one, Christopher, just waves.

Settling down beside her on a seat, Pat looks her over. "You work on a farm by any chance? Christopher's folks run a farm."

Josie nods quickly, and says, turning on her stool to face the boys, "Yep. Well, I live there, so I don't get paid or anything. But I live on the Fawley Farm." Anybody from Hogsmeade should know that farm, of course. "Camilla is my… Well, she will be my stepmom, at some time, but I live there most of the time. Except when I'm at Hogwarts."

"Right. I think we've seen you around at Hogwarts. And work, live, on a farm it's the same thing right?" Pat leans back to grin a few seats down at Christopher. "You gotta wake up at dark-thirty for chores, don't you? Even in summer time?" The boy nods. Not much to say.

The hot chocolates arrive in due course, and all at once to avoid fighting among the children. Jamie sniffs his, but Pat's already lifting his mug. "Cheers!" he takes a deep, brave draught.

Josie grins, nodding quickly. "Yep. I'm up first thing in the morning, feeding the thestrals. Then there's a new colt from the winged horses, it was born with a bad leg and dead wings, so it needs special care. Then it's whatever other chores there is to do." Grinning, she waits, watching, waiting to see what random animal sound Pat will make. It could be anything from the chirp of a bird to a roar of a lion. And each sip is different.

Jaws drop. All of them. And Christopher speaks at last, "Thestrals?" Or at least, that's what he'd intended to say. Instead, he releases a might BRUOOOP. Quite a magnificent toad sound. His friends gape even more at him than they had at Christopher. Pat laughs, but it comes out as the maniacal cackling of a kookaburra. Jamie stares, bewildered. "What?" Mateen laughs. "It's the cocoa! Isn't it?" he looks to Josie.

Blank stares. Except for Christopher. At least, he's heard of those. And his jaw drops. "Thestrals?" Or at least, that's what he'd intended to say. Instead, he releases a might BRUOOOP. Quite a magnificent toad sound. His friends gape even more at him than they had at Christopher. Pat laughs, but it comes out as the maniacal cackling of a kookaburra. Jamie stares, bewildered. "What?" Mateen laughs. "It's the cocoa! Isn't it?" he looks to Josie.

Josie burst into giggles, as the sounds start. She nods quickly to Mateen then, though, "Yep!" She reaches for her own freshly delivered cup, and takes a sip. A moment later, she makes the sound of a barking dog. That just makes her laugh again.

Four boys and a tom boy stand at the bar. Or rather, at the malt counter. Each has a cup of 'special' cocoa, which has one boy laughing like a daft little kookaburra, while the boy on the end opens his mouth for another enormous BRUOOP. The tall one, Jamie laughs and downs his cocoa without a second though. He takes a deep breath, hoping to release an impressive roar. What comes is a long goose honk. Mateen, next to the goose-boy, barks. A deep WOOF of a german shepherd, or a great dane. As the tiniest of the four boys, he looks quite pleased with himself.

Josie continues to giggle, watching the boys as they make their noises. She takes another sip of her hot chocolate, and this time makes the sound of a cat, a tiny meow sound. She giggles more, and says, "This has been my favourite drink since I first found out it was a witch."

The door of Harkiss' Candy is pulled open and in strolls Billy Marlowe. The young Gryffindor is dressed casually in a pair of breeches and a short sleeved shirt, his hair styled messily as is usual for a young boy on summer break from school. His eyes move immediately toward the children drinking and making funny noises, and upon seeing Josie among the group, he breaks a grin and calls out, "Hey Josie! What are you up to?"

"This is brilliant!" exclaims Pat, recovering the use of his voice. "Ah. ARe you a muggleborn then?" asks Jamie with polite curiosity. But Jamie gets disturbed when Pat brays rather loudly in his ear. "Oi! Steady on." As Billy approaches, greeting Josie, all four boys turn their attention to him. Each one is a couple years younger than Billy. And a few younger tha Josie.

Josie shakes her head, but then adds, "But I might as well be, I didn't find out who my dad was until after I started at Hogwarts." Then she looks up, smiling cheerfully and waving to Billy, "Hi! Just showing off my favourite hot chocolate. Billy, this is Pat, Mateen, Jamie, and Christopher." Then, to them, she adds, "This is Billy, he plays with me on the Gryffindor Quidditch team."

Billy lifts his hand and waves to the other boys as he walks to join the group. "Oh yeah, I love that stuff. Been having a good holiday, I take it?" he says in a friendly voice. His eyes shift to take in the others with a warm smile. Glancing about the shop, Billy says, "I was just thinking about getting some chocolate frogs. I have been falling behind on my card collecting lately."

Pat waves cheerily at Billy. "It's been great. We-" but then he breaks off into a high-pitched rasping chittering. The boy blinks, a bit startled by the extra animal sound. But maybe that's just how it works. He grins and tries again. But still, he can only make that odd chittering. Jamie frowns into his cup and then over at Josie. "Is it supposed to do that?" But before Josie can answer, Mateen tugs at Pat's arm. "Oi, mate. Are you alright?" Pat doesn't look alright. His eyes are bulging. They're getting bigger. And bigger. And his pupils are starting to swallow up his irises. "What's happening to him!?" asks Mateen, looking to Josie in a panic.

Josie frowns little, shaking her head, turning to stand back up again, "It's not supposed to…" Then, Pat starts to change, and her own eyes widen… but, in her case, naturally so. "I don't know! It's never done that before!" She reaches for her wand, instinctively, but she doesn't do anything. She doesn't have a clue what to do, and it shows. She looks quickly for the man behind the counter.

Billy's eyes swivel back toward Pat as the boy begins to chitter rather than speak. His brow furrows, also seeming to think that perhaps the drink has had some kind of lingering after effect, but then as the boy's eyes begin to swell Billy shakes his head and calls out, "Hey! Something is wrong here! I think the candy has gone bad!" His hand also goes to where he holds his wand and his eyes watch the boy who has WAY too big of eyes.

The sight of Pat's bulging eyes, turning into enormous black beads is not a pleasant sight. That must have been a VERY bad batch. Maybe also mixed with a shrinking potion? He's starting to get smaller. And fur is starting to bristle across his face. His friends shout in alarm, stumbling back from the counter.

At the comotion, the man behind the counter turns around with a frown. He turns just in time to miss Pat vanishing out of sight beneath the counter. His clothes aren't shrinking with him and he soon vanishes under their pile set on the stool. "Settle down. What's going on? Is something the matter?" Drying his hands on a rag, he approaches.

Not wanting to see any mention of a place she's been grounded from seeing, Josie hasn't been paying attention to the news out of London at all. So, she's totally shocked. "He just… The hot chocolate is supposed to make you sound like an animal, not turn you into one!" Still, she steps forward, moving to try to help the transformed boy get free of the pile of clothes. "And I haven't ever heard of an animagus that young."

Billy crosses to the pile of clothes as well, crouching and trying to help Josie extricate the young boy… thing… from the fabric confining him. "Yeah, he just started making weird noises and then started shrinking! We have to help him!"

Long, high-pitched rasping sounds of distress come from the clothes. As Josie pulls the shirt away, she reveals… something adorable. The bulging eyes now look like that of a mouse or a rabbit. Except this creature is cuter still. It's a tiny ball of brown fluff with stripes down its back. It reaches with tiny clawed hands for Josie, as if the frightened creature is beseeching help. As Billy helps, it twists around to try and snag his fingers. The whiskers on his little snoot twitch madly.

"Lookit! He's turned into a- a… what is that?" asks Mateen, staring wide-eyed at the creature. Christopher steps forward to peer between Billy and Josie. "I think… he's a sugar glider? That's what he looks like." Jamie frowns. "What's that?" But the adult behind the counter leans across to see what exactly the children are on about. Catching sight of the tiny creature in the pile of boy's clothes, he heaves a gasp. "Stand back!" he shouts with a wave of his arm, trying to clear the children away.

The sudden shout and the movement overhead seems to frighten the boy/sugar glider. It tries to scrabble across Billy's hand and leap to the floor. If it manages to get past Billy, he flings out his arms and legs and glides to the ground.

Josie blinks, and says, "I haven't heard of those before." Still, she reaches gently, starting to try to pick the creature up, but then jumps as well as the adult shouts for them to stand back, just a little slow to obey. "Why? He needs help." She has a few scratches on her hands, but she hasn't seemed to notice.

Billy extends a hand toward the little Sugar Glider as it reaches for him, his desire to help the transformed boy. At the shout from the older man and the sudden scurrying of the animal, Billy lets out a reflexive yelp as the animal scrabbles across his hand and digs a few tiny burrows through his flesh that begin to bleed before the thing leaps away. He looks after it and then says, "What is your problem?" to the owner of the voice.

The poor shopkeeper leans over the bar, waving his arms wildly to keep the other children back. "Don't touch him! Stay back! It's contagious!"

An off-duty Ministry official has her wits a bit more about her. "Petrificus Totalus!" And she enunciates so clearly. The sugar glider's arms and legs snap to its side and grows rigid. And then with a swish and flick of her wand, the creature levitates off the ground. No need to touch to pick it up. She peers at the children. "Did any of you touch him just now? Or have you come into contact with any unfamiliar animal recently?"

"No, miss. We-" says Mateen, but then Jamie cuts in. "Yes we were. Down by the river. There was that big shaggy dog, remember?" Mateen nods. "Right, but that was Christopher's dog, wasn't it?" Christopher shakes his head. "No, I thought it was Pat's."

Shaking her head the Ministry witch cuts in, "So you've all possibly been in contact with a transformed wizard or witch. You'd better come with me to St. Mungo's." She looks to Josie and Billy. "And you two?"

The wizard behind the counter, much calmer now that the sugar-glider/boy is apprehended. "Yes, they were. It was clawing at their fingers." The witch nods. "Right. Then you'd best come along." She tilts her head and leads the troop out, heading for the nearest public entrance to the Floo network.

Josie just looks confused, looking to the ministry official and the shopkeeper, and then down to her hands. "Yeah, he scratched me." She follows along, but asks, "What's going on?" She doesn't seem frightened, just confused. "Some kind of contagious animagus-ness?"

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